I’ve had the privilege of studying at the University of Auckland for six years, and TSCF has been a significant influence in helping me live for God as a student. I came to university for a degree, I’m leaving having seen glimpses of heaven amidst a broken world.

At the very start of uni, I attended a TSCF conference where I was given two copies of Luke’s gospel so I could read it with a friend. We spent some time practicing reading the Bible together and in one of the final sessions, we were invited to write down the names of three people we could invite to read Luke. I came away from Launch with the names of friends I wanted to talk to about Jesus. I was terrified, yet I had also been incredibly struck by the people I had met. They had a passion for speaking to people about Jesus and it was infectious. They were confident in handling God’s Word. I felt like I was the opposite: I was shy and hadn’t really shared my faith with anyone during highschool.

Since then, I have had so many experiences of God’s goodness and glory. I went into Jesus Week in 2019 praying that God might allow me to find just one person to read the Bible with and he answered that prayer. A Bible study with a girl living in a hostel led to seven of us reading a part of the book of Mark together. These people were from all different faith backgrounds and all corners of the world – from Yemen to the Netherlands. I’ve seen brothers and sisters in Christ grow in leading Bible studies. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Christians test their faith and God sustaining them. I’ve also had the sad situation of non-Christians reading some of the Bible and deciding they don’t want to continue. Most poignant of all, I happened to talk to a person for the first time just as they were ready to commit their life to Jesus. I was able to celebrate someone becoming a Christian and see the fruit of all the seeds God and so many others had planted.

What I’ve learnt (and continue to learn):
First, I’ve learnt about the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. Aspiring towards being a True Witness isn’t about striving to understand him with our intellect or knowing the answer to every question. It’s God providing opportunities, people to talk to, and boldness to simply start the conversation. God doesn’t just send us out to go be witnesses on our own. He asks us to trust Him as he comes with us.

Second, it’s much easier to be an exile in the world with other exiles (1 Peter 2:11-12). In Veritas, the Christians in Law School group, about five of us were in the same year and were able to converse with curious non-Christians as gospel partners. It was thrilling praying together for our friends. If you’re a student struggling to talk to people about Jesus, chat to people in your campus group about it or just grab a few friends to support each other. Pray together that God would empower you to speak of him, share your worries and fears about evangelism, pray for the people each of you are talking to and hold each other accountable by asking how conversations went.

Third, intentionality goes a long way. Having a few people’s names written down has been incredibly helpful. Pray for them and make the effort to talk to them about your faith. I’ve found that if I’m being intentional, almost every topic of conversation can lead to the topic of sin or God.

Fourth, be courageous! Don’t be afraid to ask: you might be surprised by the response. If God does opens doors and you’re reading the Bible, start with a simple question like, ‘What sticks out to you?’ and go from there. Don’t be afraid to say you’re not sure about something. Staff workers are very helpful to point you towards biblical answers and resources. Ask to read the Bible one-on-one with other Christians as well as non-Christians. Reading the Bible with Christians sharpens and encourages us.

Fifth, people watch as you go through hard times. The way you live your life reflects who your King is. At some point, people are likely to ask or comment on something and in these conversations, what the person has observed can back up what you say.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:9-12

Annelise Chan
Graduating Auckland Law Student